20 July 1862: “If a soldier or a legitimate follower of the army be fired upon from any house, the house shall be razed to the ground, and the inhabitants sent prisoners to the headquarters of this army.”

Item description: General Orders, Number 7, dated 20 July 1862, issued by command of Major General John Pope. These orders appear as they were published in the Supplemental Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, In Two Volumes (1866).

Item citation: “General Orders, No. 7,” [found in] “Report of Major General Pope to the Committee on the Conduct of the War,” Supplemental Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, In Two Volumes. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1866. C970.73 U58c1, from the North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Headquarters Army of Virginia
Washington, July 20, 1862.

General Orders }
No. 7

The people of the valley of the Shenandoah, and throughout the region of operations of this army, living along the lines of railroad and telegraph, and along the routes of travel in rear of the United States forces, are notified that they will be held responsible for any injury done to the track, line or road, or for any attacks upon trains or straggling soldiers by bands of guerillas in their neighborhood. No privileges and immunities of warfare apply to lawless bands of individuals not forming part of the organized forces of the enemy, nor wearing the garb of soldiers, who, seeking and obtaining safety on pretext of being peaceful citizens, steal out in rear of the army, attack and murder straggling soldiers, molest trains of supplies, destroy railroads, telegraph lines and bridges, and commit outrages disgraceful to civilized people and revolting to humanity. Evil-disposed persons in rear of our armies, who do not themselves engage directly in these lawless acts, encourage them by refusing to interfere or give any information by which such acts can be prevented or the perpetrators punished. Safety of life and property of all persons living in the rear of our advancing armies depends upon the maintenance of peace and quiet among themselves, and of the unmolested movement through their midst of all pertaining to the military service. They are to understand distinctly that this security of travel is their only warrant of personal safety. It is, therefore, ordered that whenever a railroad, wagon-road, or telegraph is injured by parties of guerillas, the citizens living within five miles of the spot shall be turned out in mass to repair the damage, and shall, besides, pay the United States, in money or in property, to be levied by military force, the full amount of the pay and subsistence of the whole force necessary to coerce the performance of the work during the time occupied in completing it. If a soldier or a legitimate follower of the army be fired upon from any house, the house shall be razed to the ground, and the inhabitants sent prisoners to the headquarters of this army. If such an outrage occur at any place distant from settlements, the people within five miles around shall be held accountable and made to pay an indemnity sufficient for the case. Any persons detected in such outrages, either during the act or at any time afterward, shall be shot without awaiting civil process. No such acts can influence the result of this war, and they can only lead to heavy afflictions to the population to no purpose. It is therefore enjoined upon all persons, both for the security of their property and the safety of their own persons, that they act vigorously and cordially together to prevent the perpetration of such outrages. While it is the wish of the general commanding this army that all peaceably-disposed persons, who remain at their homes and pursue their accustomed avocations, shall be subjected to no improper burden of war, yet their own safety must of necessity depend upon the strict preservation of peace and order among themselves, and they are to understand that nothing will deter him from enforcing promptly, and to the full extent, every provision of this order.

By command of Major General Pope:

GEO. D. RUGGLES,
Colonel, Assistant Adjutant General and Chief of Staff.

Official:

Lieutenant Colonel SMITH,
Aide-de-Camp.

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